Environmental Education and Interpretation

Urban Riparian Symposium

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Ponds and Streams, Water Quality

ESC will be well-represented at this year’s “Urban Riparian Symposium: Balancing the Challenges of Healthy Urban Streams,” being held in Houston, Texas, February 15-17 at Rice University.   Presentations include: David Mahler — Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida): Why This Native Annual Becomes a Problem in Urban Riparian Corridors.” David will discuss his findings on why giant ragweed is not a problem at the Spicewood Ranch, but is a problem in urban…

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Ranchland Restoration

Spicewood Ranch After 23 Year of Restoration: What we Have Accomplished and Learned

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation

When restoration on the 1200 acre Spicewood Ranch started in 1988, the vegetation was typical of much of the Texas Hill Country. Most of the palatable native grass species were gone or greatly reduced with KR bluestem dominating, and the surviving forb and woody plants were reduced to unpalatable species such as Mexican hat, horsemint, live oak and Texas persimmon. Restoration practices, including controlled burns, cedar removal, deer reduction, high…

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Spicewood Ranch Field Trip

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation

Since 1988, Environmental Survey Consulting (ESC) has been conducting active habitat restoration of the 1200 acre Spicewood Ranch.  On May 14 2016,  David Mahler led a tour of almost 40 people to explore areas of management success, including prairie restoration, woody species propagation in cedar (Juniperus ashei) breaks, and balancing deer browse pressure with revegetation efforts.  Prairie restoration strategies included controlled burns followed by seeding with commercial and wild-harvested native…

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Palatabilty Ranking of Texas Native Plant Species for Deer

By Ecological Restoration, Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping

A Palatability Ranking of Central Texas Hill Country Forb and Woody Plant Species for White-Tailed Deer David Mahler has ranked central Texas hill country forb and woody native plant species on their ability to survive white-tailed deer browse pressure. Species ranked 1 can survive under very high browse conditions while species ranked 5 can only survive under very low browse conditions or in protected areas. As an interesting note, some…

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Engaging Volunteers

By Environmental Education and Interpretation

Engaging Volunteers for the Environment Austin is fortunate to have a community of active, environmentally and socially responsible people ready and willing to donate their time to meaningful projects that improve our health, education, and quality of life. ESC has been involved in many projects over the years that involve volunteers, but maintaining and rewarding the interest and enthusiasm of volunteers can sometimes be a challenge. ESC has been able…

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AISD’s Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden

By Environmental Education and Interpretation, Native Landscaping, Naturalistic Hardscape

 AISD’s Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden Approaches One Year Anniversary This coming May, ESC will mark the 1st anniversary of completion on a key project in the local wildlife habitat restoration movement.   On May 16, 2013 AISD’s Wildlife Habitat Demonstration Garden officially opened to a well attended crowd of volunteers, sponsors, workers, teachers, parents and children. The garden was a project of the National Wildlife Federation and AISD, with generous…

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